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Some Plants Need a Pinch to Grow On Each Year

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I was presenting at an outdoor gardening event recently when a woman walked by wearing a T-shirt that said, “No Pinching!” Maybe she had young kids, or was a kindergarten teacher. Clearly she was not an experienced gardener. Pinching plants is good, and now is the time to do it. Let’s start with fruit trees. Many apple trees are loaded with small fruit now. Often there are five or more …

Tips to Extend Life Of Home Appliances

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Show your workhorse appliances a little TLC, and they may stick around a bit longer. Replacing a refrigerator or oven range can take a bite out of your budget, as can buying a new washer or dryer. To make sure your appliances stand the test of time and continue to perform, follow these pointers: Keep Your Fridge And Freezer Clean Besides regularly cleaning …

Weeding With Iron And Fire

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I love weeding. It creates order out of chaos, something I have come to appreciate. An un-weeded flower bed is full of distractions. My brain is constantly instant messaging me: “See that dandelion? You should pull it.” The weeds distract me from the beauty of the flowers and the texture and color of the leaves. I feel better as soon as I get …

Notes From the Garden: Celeriac and Celery Require Careful Nurturing

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Here it is, officially winter, and I’m still eating from my garden. I recently made what I call a winter salad: grated carrot and celery root (also known as celeriac) with a vinaigrette sauce. Sometimes my winter salad …

Notes From the Garden: Keep My Poinsettias Simple

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I like poinsettias and buy one every year. And every year the poinsettia industry produces new colors and shapes for the plant’s bracts, the traditionally red leaves that surround the poinsettia’s less colorful flowers. Standard red has given …

Notes From the Garden: Making a Festive Holiday Decoration

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This time of year I need all the help I can get. Cloudy, gray days do not make me cheerful. Days that end at 4 p.m. do not please me. I counteract the dark with lights, flowers on …

Designers’ Advice On Decorating a Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 7, 2014

For generations, the choice was simple: 1. Strap a live Christmas tree to the roof of your car, wrestle it into a tree stand at home and hope it wouldn’t fall over. Or, 2. Put up an artificial tree that was unmistakably fake. Fortunately, the options have expanded …

Notes From the Garden: Keeping a Tree Alive for the Holidays

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I know people who say we shouldn’t be cutting down trees just to brighten our houses for the holidays. Trees are, after all, sequestering carbon and making our environment cleaner, greener, and all that. I say “Bah Humbug!” and will cut a fresh tree from my neighborhood tree …

Gifts for Use in the Garden

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It’s that time of year again: time to find the perfect present for Aunt Edna, Uncle Bob and everyone else we love. Gardeners on my list are pretty easy to buy for because there are so many wonderful gifts to choose from, including selections under $10 (Atlas nitrile …

Wise to Winterize Outside the Home

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It’s wise, before the snow flies (or as soon as possible if flakes have already flown), to take the time to prep your home and property for winter. We hear often about emergency service calls that could have been avoided if homeowners had taken time to winterize or …

Notes From the Garden: Now Is the Time to Prepare Bulbs for Blooms in March

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I love to ski and snowshoe. I don’t mind shoveling snow and lugging in firewood for the woodstove that chugs along day and night these days. But there are limits to my patience, and by March I’ll ready for green growing things and some fresh flowers. So I …

Tips for Saving Water

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hauling water in a five-gallon container a couple of hundred yards from communal spigot to campsite has reinforced my tendency to conserve. You, no doubt, have reasons of your own. Here are water-saving tips, compiled from a variety of sources: Turn off the water while you brush your …

We Should Care About Skilled Trade Shortage

Sunday, November 9, 2014

It’s a fact that I’m not handy. When I need something done at home, I use the proven service providers I found on the list that bears my name. I’m grateful for the skilled professionals who use their hands and their heads to solve our home maintenance and …